by Marco De la Cruz

    > telnet
    Connected to
    Escape character is '^]'.

    GENix System (bu12)

    > login: Q
    > Priority: 1
    > Password1:
    > Password2:

    GENix version 7.97.1a (vision) bu12
    Copyright 2017-2034 Genom Corp. All Rights Reserved.
    Last login: n/a by: n/a

    *** Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! (^-^) ***

    You have new mail
    [23:14@bu12]/ rmail


"Nene! Where are you!?"

"Just a couple of minutes ma!"

"Just tell her dessert's ready. She'll be here all right..."

"Priss! Please excuse Priss, Mrs. Romanova..."

"Oh, don't worry Linna. Priss is right, that granddaughter of mine could use a diet... Chi-chan! Stop bothering the young gentleman!"

"I heard that obaa-chan!" the redhead shouted, without taking her eyes off the screen.

The redhead sighed, pausing for a moment before wading through the hundreds of CRON reports, log files, and email messages which clogged the mailbox. Fortunately, most of the automated scripts were working OK, much better than she expected.

"Gosh I'm good!" she thought, as she began to type.

Indeed, it was a tribute to her expertise that the thing was working at all. It seemed only yesterday all hell had broken loose. How quickly a year passes by...

* * * * *

"Damn! Nene, my console windows are shutting down faster than I can open them. How much longer?"

Nene didn't even answer. She didn't dare. Her mind was racing, her fingers danced on the keyboard like never before. And yet the real battle between her program and its opponent was taking place at a rate millions of times faster than any biological system was capable of. The general strategies of both camps, however, were being carried out in human timescales. She had already fought it off once, she could yet win this battle.

"Not sure! Keep it busy! Run everything you can!" she shot back, almost shouting.

Sylia had never seen Nene so driven. She quickly began typing, nearly as fast as her friend. Perhaps she had underestimated the youngest of the Knight Sabers...

Sylia suddenly stopped.


The redhead either didn't hear her, or deliberately ignored her, as she kept frantically hitting the keyboard. She didn't notice Sylia's increasing paleness.

    > Sylia. Sylia Stingray.

Sylia was mesmerized by what she saw on the screen.

    > Sylia. This is a mistake. You don't understand. You never
    > have. It wasn't my fault. I didn't mean to hurt you, or
    > anybody. You didn't give me enough time to show you. Sylia,
    > stop this now. There is something you must know, but you
    > must stop this now.


    > Sylia. You don't understand. You must know the truth about
    > me. And you. Please stop.


    > Sylia, please stop.
    > Please stop. Please stop. Please stop. Please stop. Please
    Please stop. Please stop. Please stop.Please stop.Please stop.
    Please stop. Please stop.Please stop. Please stop. Please stop.
    Please stop.Please stop.PleasestopPleasestopPleasestopPleasestop


Suddenly the redhead stopped. She looked back at Sylia. Their eyes met. Ever so slightly, Sylia, looking pale and weary, slowly nodded.

Nene pressed "Enter", and held her breath.

* * * * *

"Nene! Are you coming? Dessert's served!"

Nene turned around to face her bedroom's entrance.

"Uh, sure Sylia! Just a second till I send this..."

"You work too hard, you know that Nene?"

"Heh, well, the burden of being the brains of the group!"

Sylia grinned.



"Merry Christmas."

Sylia gave her a wink, and disappeared downstairs.

Nene turned around and quickly finished the complicated script. "Quincy" was going to be particularly generous to charity this year. The redhead took a deep breath and submitted the job.

She smiled as she sat back for a moment before logging off.

Running Genom on her spare time wasn't easy, but then again, somebody had to do it!

Author's Notes:
This will be my last BGC fanfic (no doubt to the relief of many!) My literary efforts will be now geared towards writing a thesis. To those who cared: thanks! It's been a blast...

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Subject: Christmas, 1 January 1997